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Editorial |

Reporting Statistical Information in Medical Journal Articles

Peter Cummings, MD, MPH; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(4):321-324. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.4.321.
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STATISTICS IS not merely about distributions or probabilities, although these are part of the discipline. In the broadest sense, statistics is the use of numbers to quantify relationships in data and thereby answer questions. Statistical methods allow the researcher to reduce a spreadsheet of data to counts, means, proportions, rates, risk ratios, rate differences, and other quantities that convey information. We believe that the presentation of numerical information will be enhanced if authors keep in mind that their goal is to clarify and explain. We offer suggestions here for the presentation of statistical information to the readers of general medical journals.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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